Liberal Richard Lee has pulled out of the race to represent Burnaby South in Ottawa.
The former MLA came in second in the Feb. 25 byelection in the riding, losing to NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.
Lee had planned to run again in this fall’s general federal election, but has decided not to seek the nomination “following news of his wife combating a challenging illness,” party spokesperson Parker Lund wrote in an email.
“Liberals are very grateful to Richard Lee for his dedicated service as the Team Trudeau candidate in the recent Burnaby South byelection, and for his many decades of contributions to the people of Burnaby as a devoted community leader and legislator,” Lund wrote. “Our sympathies and best wishes are with Richard and his family in the days and weeks ahead.”
Lee served as a BC Liberal MLA for 16 years before losing to the NDP’s Janet Routledge in 2017.
Lund said the Liberal Party will now work to nominate someone else in Burnaby South. He did not say when that would happen.
The People’s Party’s byelection candidate, Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson, has also changed plans since indicating she would run again in Burnaby South. She will instead run in the Alberta riding of Red Deer-Lacombe this fall.
Singh has said he will run in Burnaby South in October, as has the Conservative candidate from the byelection, Jay Shin. The People’s Party and Green Party (which did not run a candidate in the byelection) have yet to nominate candidates.